Campus & Community

New book tells DU’s architectural story

Financial trouble nearly leveled the University in the 1980s, but just a decade later DU began the most dramatic physical transformation in its history.

A new book, Built for Learning (University of Denver, 2008), traces DU’s architectural renaissance and tells the story of Chancellor Emeritus Dan Ritchie, Architect Emeritus Cab Childress and the other people who made it possible.

The substantial hardback includes hundreds of photos of University of Denver campus landscapes and architecture, beginning with DU’s first buildings constructed more than a century ago and continuing through to the campus of today.

Its 200-plus color-drenched pages describe not just architectural features, but the ways that those features enhance student learning and benefit the community — how and why the University looks the way it does today.

“Working with Cab Childress over the years was one of the greatest experiences of my life,” says Ritchie, now chairman and CEO of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. “There was something magical in his ability to envision the campus that is DU today. The best features of the old, classic buildings helped inspire our dreams for the ideal learning environment.”

The limited-edition book, dedicated in memory of Childress, is peppered with the late architect’s notes and drawings and provides unique insight into his vision and collaboration with Ritchie.

“Our job is to bring light into dim places,” Childress said. “It’s not a matter of tearing things down.”

The book is available for $39.95 at the DU Bookstore and $49.95 at all Tattered Cover bookstores. Chancellor Emeritus Dan Ritchie and University Architect Mark Rodgers will sign copies of Built for Learning on Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m., at the LoDo Tattered Cover, 1628 16th St. in Denver.

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